If you are looking for a fresh, filling and bold in flavor meal, then this miso tempeh noodle bowl is for you! The oven-baked tempeh is coated with a miso-soy glaze and topped on a colorful bowl of noodles and veggies. It is such a tasty way to make you feel nourished!
Tempeh is like sophisticated tofu. Or like Jean-Philipe says it so well in his latest cookbook, "Tempeh, it's like tofu that went to University". *
Compared to tofu, tempeh is stronger in flavor, has more texture and is filled with character. If you think tofu is bland and boring, than you have to give tempeh a try. (Orrrrrrrr, try that crispy coconut tofu, then you might find tofu a lot more exciting).
And this miso tempeh bowl won't disappoint you! Even though all the refined oils are kept at bay, this tempeh recipe is so flavorful with its rich sweet and tangy miso coating that makes its unique complexion shine.
What is tempeh
Tempeh originates from Indonesia (Java Island) and was first prepared a few centuries ago. It is a soybean product that results from fermenting the beans (kept in their whole shape) into the form of a cake. The beans are first very minimally processed and then mixed in with a fungus (Rhizopus oligosporus) that creates a white-ish material during the fermentation process. This allows the beans to stick together into that cuttable meaty product.
Most common tempeh are simply made out of soybeans, but you can also find different varieties that also includes whole grains, wheat products and even flax seeds. You can now find it in most grocery stores in the tofu section. I like the Lightlife tempeh product. You can even make your own tempeh at home!
On top of being almost not processed at all, Tempeh's nutty, hearty and mushroom-like flavor is what's people are raving about. Its textural nature also provides a meaty consistency to a dish, which can be very satisfying.
Tempeh vs Tofu
As you may know, tofu also is made out of soybeans, but compared to tempeh, it is much more processed. Soy milk is first prepared, then curdled to reach that uniform white block shape. Soybeans's natural texture and flavor are lost in the process, which can make tofu quite bland.
Tofu's lack in character can be perfect when making saucy dishes, like in this tofu bolognese or tofu spread. But, when looking to add a good bite to a meal without much effort, then tempeh might be a better choice.
Tempeh's unique texture and flavor is not the only interesting factor to keep in mind when facing the tofu section at the grocery store. Its lack of processing also means keeping most of its nutrients intact, like vitamins and minerals. Also, compared to tofu, tempeh is much higher in protein and can help you feel full for a longer period of time.
How to prepare this miso tempeh
- Tempeh can taste slightly bitter and has a very dense almost grainy texture. To help tenderize it and remove some of its bitterness, start by cutting it in cubes and boil in water for 10 minutes.
- While boiling, prepare the marinade (miso paste, soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar and garlic). Transfer the boiled tempeh to the marinade and combine. Let it soak for about 20 minutes in the fridge.
I choose the mellow/white miso paste from Miso Master for its milder flavors when making this recipe, but you can choose any other types of miso. There is more information about miso paste described for the making of this miso ramen noodle soup.
- Transfer the cubes of tempeh to a parchment paper covered baking sheet and cook in the oven for 25 minutes flipping half way through. Set aside the leftover marinade to drizzle on your noodle bowl!
Watch how to make this miso tempeh
As shown in the pictures, this miso tempeh is great when served over noodles with a side of vegetables, in my case: sliced raw red cabbage and steamed broccoli. I used brown rice noodles from Lotus Foods, but other Asian style noodles would work too.
Other options includes:
- Brown rice or other whole grains instead of noodles.
- Cut the tempeh in a stripe or rectangular shape instead of cubes and use as a sandwich filler.
- Switch up the vegetables: roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, cauliflower or wilted greens would be great.
How to store the miso tempeh
The roasted tempeh and the leftover sauce can be stored in a air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The tempeh is delicious cold too! But you can reheat it in the oven at 400° for a few minutes or in the microwave for a few seconds.
I recommend you build the bowl just before ready to eat.
Other miso recipes you might like
I hope you like this miso tempeh bowl as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Miso Tempeh Noodle Bowl
For the miso tempeh
- 8 oz tempeh - cubed in 2 inches size
- 3 tbsp miso paste
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 clove of garlic
To build the bowl
- noodles (enough for 2) - cooked according to the packaging
- 1 head of broccoli - cut in bite-sized pieces
- red cabbage - thinly sliced
- green onion - sliced
Prepare the tempeh
- In a medium size sauce pan, add 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the cubed tempeh, cover and boil for about 10 minutes. This will remove some of the tempeh's bitterness and will help absorb the flavors from the sauce.
- While the tempeh is boiling, whisk in a medium size bowl all the other miso tempeh ingredients together.
- Drain the tempeh and transfer to the marinade. Combine and let sit for 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once the marinating is done, spread the saucy tempeh evenly on the parchment paper making sure to keep the leftover marinade to drizzle on your noodle bowl. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Flip the tempeh and cook for 10 more minutes.
Built the bowl
- While the tempeh is cooking, steam the broccoli on the stove and cook the noodles.
- Once everything is cooked, divide the cooked noodles, tempeh and broccoli evenly between 2 bowls. Top with red cabbage and green onions.
- Generously drizzle the top of the bowls with the extra miso sauce. Enjoy!
- I use brown rice noodles from Lotus Foods. This miso tempeh is also delicious served over brown rice or other whole grains. I use the mellow light miso paste from Miso Master.
- Store any leftovers in the fridge in a air-tight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven at 400° for a few minutes or in the microwave for a few seconds.
- Customize your bowl by changing up the vegetables (cauliflower, asparagus, carrots, wilted greens, etc).
Pin it for later!
*Translated from: "Le tempeh, c'est comme du tofu qui est allé à l'université" from the cookbook "Mes grands classiques véganes", by La cuisine de Jean-Philippe. (thebuddhistchef.com)